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Random hard lock-ups

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October 15, 2010 8:35:58 PM

Hey everyone, (Mod closed my previous thread for bumping :D  )
I recently upgraded my system which was a bit old, and I added 3 fans, a controller, and replaced the PSU with a Tacens Valeo III 500W
Firstly, when I swapped PSUs and booted my computer, it just stayed black. It seemed dead. I pushed in the ATX 24 pin mobo connector and it worked fine. Then, after rebooting once, my system did not recognize my HD. I re plugged the sata cables and all was fine. I had to use Molex>Sata adaptors because i needed L-shaped Sata Power to close my case. They are on a Y-Splitter.
Everything seemed fine, until I started gaming. Sometimes I just get into any game (for example: MW2, or FIFa, which requires fairly medium-low en hardware), and it freezes. It just lock-s up and I have to hold the power button to turn the machine off and bring it back to life. Any ideas?
Could it be that I have a loose cable somewhere? could this eventually cause damage to my system?

TEMPERATURES are most likely not the problem, because the system has more than adequate cooling, and using HWMonitor, my GFX temps never go past 75ºc and my processor temps never go past 71ºc. MY HDDs are in 20-40ºc range.

VOLTAGES seem higher and more unstable. From what I read this usually means faulty PSU/mobo :S

My System Specs:

Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo P
AMD Athlon 64X2 Live! 4600+ @ 2.41 GHz (OEM Default)
Point of View Graphics Nvidia GeForce 9800GT 512MB
ASUS M2R-FVM Motherboard (OEM Default)
Tacens Valeo III 500W PSU Modular (500W should be more than enough)
1x Seagate 320GB HD (OEM Default)
1x Western Digital Caviar 200GB (Pulled out from an old computer, which had it by default)
1x Back fan, 1xSide panel fan, 1x Front fan.
1xDVD drive (OEM)
1x15-in-1 Cardreader (OEM)
The system is about 3 1/2 years old.
(Due to replacements, some parts are newer than others.

And that's about it...
Any ideas?
Thank you in advance to all!

More about : random hard lock ups

a b à CPUs
October 15, 2010 8:49:13 PM

Okay I couldn't get the jist of exactly HOW your computer is setup but here is what I recommend from my own experience with random lock ups:

1) Temps. Even though you may think your temps are fine - they probably aren't. I went for a solid month driving my head crazy wondering why it would lock up similar to your situation when I finally opened up my case and looked at the video card. Dust like CRAZY. Check the video card + CPU because they will be working the hardest.

2) Power supply. Power supplies are usually the first part in a computer to die. If you can - run crazy benchmarks on your CPU + GPU to get the power consumption high and monitor whats going on. If your temps are fine and it still locks up - chances are there may be a voltage issue.

3) You mentioned it locked up instead of BSOD - which leads me to believe your ram is fine. However, your CPU might not be. Check to see if your voltage is on 'auto' or if there is any power saving features on. Put it all on manual and disable power saving and see if that stops it from locking up.

Thats all I can think about for now - best of troubleshooting luck. I know its a bitch...
October 16, 2010 9:38:24 AM

1) I just cleaned the case out for dust, and simply looking inside the side panel show little dust :D 

2) I am doubting the PSU; When I first installed it the computer wouldnt boot. All I had to do was push in the semi-loose mobo connector.

3) I went into my BIOS, I couldn't find anything labeled CPU COLTAGE, but i did find something that said Vccp and it was at 1.40 (I have never played around in the bios, I've just been in it to check temps) Then AMD Cool'n'Quiet was on Auto.

I did however, Activate the maximum performance plan in vista's energy settings, and wile just surfing the web and stuff like that or whenever, the voltage seems to be stable @ 1.36-1.38
Related resources
October 21, 2010 8:21:52 PM

UPDATE:
After activating Vista Maximum Performance Power Plan, everythign seemed fine. Today I played MW2 and IT HAPPENED AGAIN!!!
My two main suspects are HDD/PSU
Any ideas?
Also, I repeat that when i first plugged in my new psu, the computer wouldn't boot at all, but i pushed in the cable a bit more and it worked.
Could it also be a cable issue?
Thanks to all!
a b à CPUs
October 22, 2010 3:30:31 AM

Semi-loose mobo connector? Is that even possible? A good PSU or motherboard shouldn't have this kind of issue, since the CPU power and 24-pin connectors have locking mechanisms to ensure tight connection. Are you sure the lock is correctly in position? It could happen though, since the PSU is of decent quality, which makes the possibility of faulty PSU most unlikely, yet still possible.

The voltages however is a bit high IMO, with 71ºC as load temp, you might wanna undervolt the CPU voltage to avoid overheating issues. See if you can set it to 1.25V for the max load. Do you use K10Stat? I'm not sure if it's applicable for your CPU, since it's from a previous version than mine.
October 22, 2010 7:57:09 AM

Yes, it is possible apparently :D  It sure scared the crap out of me the day it happened.

Soon when I get a break or something i'll look into the cable issue...

Thse awkward voltages started ocurring since i changed the PSU. Will undervolting it cause any problems?
Also, how would I go about undervolting it? BIOS?

No, I do not use K10Stat. (I Don't even know what it is :D )

One fix I found (still testing) is messign around with the vista power settings. If I set the maximum processor usage to 100, the voltages change a lot and quickly. If I set it to 99%, then the voltages STILL change, but never exceed 1.33V... I was able to play MW2 for about 2 hrs, no crash.

Thanks!
a b à CPUs
October 22, 2010 8:42:40 AM

Since the issue is resolved due to lower voltage settings, I can assume that CPU overheating is the cause. For better control of the voltages, why don't you download the software here:

http://sites.google.com/site/k10stat/

The latest one is 1.41.

You can read the instructions here:

http://aspiregemstone.blogspot.com/2009/06/k10stat-amd-...

If you have trouble using it or simply don't have confidence to use it, I'll try to help. But if you're fine without it, then it's also fine. :D 

Good luck!

October 22, 2010 9:02:26 AM

Overheating?
But with my old psu I ran GTA IV with both cores at 75ºc and sometinmes at 76ºc and no freeze! :D 
But i'll try k10stat
Also, the temps never go past 68ºc :D  on both cores and GPU

Thanks!

EDIT: K10Stat isn't compatible with my CPU
Says so on the website :D 
a b à CPUs
October 22, 2010 3:49:17 PM

^ That's too bad. If it's compatible, you'll notice a significant drop with load temperature. Mine is 30 at idle and 42 at full load. Well, since you resolved the lock ups issue, I guess it's okay then. :) 
October 22, 2010 7:11:36 PM

Uh oh...
Lock-ups returned >:( 
I noticed my secondary HD restart various times today, making awkward as hell noises. I decided to change it. When I open up my comp, I'll check out cables, blow out some dust, and see if the hard drvie was the issue
I'll post back soon :D 
Also, the crash seems to happen a lot less on my primary HD :) 
So, I pray!

Thanks!
October 22, 2010 10:27:45 PM

QUICK UPDATE:
As of now these are my main suspects:

1) Loose ATX24 pin power connector
I'm going to try pushing it in a bit more tomorrow.

2)Hard Drives.
My secondary hd has been making some really weird noises and has been starting and stopping a LOT lately. I'm going to swap it out tomorrow for a new Seagate.

COuld it be that the HDs being ona Y-Splitter causes a conflict?

Could it be that they don't get enough power?

3) Faulty PSU
Self- Explanatory :D 
Gonna try and change it at Xmas or in november

Additional info:
The voltages on my CPU change a lot. In my bios, there is no CPU voltage change setting, just vccp, 3.3Sb, etc...
They seemed lower and more stable with my old psu

Temps
Definitely not a problem.
No Component surpasses 71ºc
EVER.

Power plans
Tried messing around with vista's power settings, no luck :D 

I do not think it is CPU, MOBO, or RAM, because the BIos recognizes everything, Cpu never gets hot, RAM seems to be fine, no BSODs, etc.....

This only happens while gaming, sometimes instantly, others after a few hours...

Any ideas?
Other info is above in the post, this is just a lil' summary

Thanks to all!

EDIT:
Forgot to mention BIOS settings.
I seemingly can't find a setting to change cpu voltage.
But, is voltage the issue?
My board is an asus m2r-fvm.
October 29, 2010 5:09:13 PM

It's the psu

Well, thx god it isnt the mobo.
I decided to try and run MW2 wtih the side panel off, and it ran FINE. The psu didn't make half the noise it usually does. I'm pretty sure its the PSU
any thoughts?
Thanks!
a b à CPUs
October 29, 2010 6:55:55 PM

Well, I didn't recall you mention PSU noise. Anyway, good to hear you've resolved your issue.

Did you replace the PSU or you're still using it? Seems odd to me, that you said it's the PSU but didn't mention anything about a replacement.
October 29, 2010 10:42:49 PM

Well, I bout a new PSU a few months ago to replace my old one because I got TDR errors after upgrading to a 9800GT. This psu has a heatsink at the back (lol) and the fan only turns on when needed. When I have the side cover on, it makes a terrible noise when activated, but when i have the cover off, it is a lot softer.
Will drilling a mesh on my side panel help ventilate the PSU?

Thanks!
November 2, 2010 6:29:37 PM

A few last questions before I RMA the PSU:
Could it be a messed up Molex Y-Splitter that is causing this prob?
Which is better:
Corsair tx650W, OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w, or OCZ Fatal1ty 550W?
November 10, 2010 3:11:33 PM

Ok, I RMAD the PSU, and put in the old one (Delta 350W)
NO problems so far :D DDDDDDDDDDDDDD
November 11, 2010 8:23:50 PM

MOdern Warfare 2. Froze. Again.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I'm not trying to bump the thread, it just keeps on happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
even with the old PSU it freezes!!!!!!
I also screwed another screw into the motherboard on replacing the PSU, it seemed to be missing. (There was an empty metallized hole)
Could that be causing it?
Could having a bad Molex Y-Splitter be causing it?
What IS THIS THING?

Thanks in advance!
!